Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

Nature’s lighting created a Hawaiian Christmas season halo over pine trees at
 Discovery Harbour in Kaʻū yesterday evening.
Photo by Peter Anderson
WAIKAPUNA PRESERVATION came one step closer to reality yesterday when the Legacy Land Commission of the state Department of Land & Natural Resources ranked it number one in all the Hawaiian Islands for land acquisition funding. If Legacy Lands contributions, plus much additional funding, allows for the purchase, the 2,200 acres would be held by the Ala Kahakai Trail Association with a conservation easement provided to the county. The county, Trust for Public Land and many others are helping to conserve Waikapuna.
     The effort is community driven in partnership, said Ala Kahakai National Trail Superintendent Aric Arakaki, who made a presentation.
Waikapuna is one of three major properties in Kaʻū owned by Resource Land
Holdings. Waikapuna won a top ranking for funding for preservation
at the Legacy Land Commission meeting yesterday in Honolulu.
The community organizations that would manage the property have “interest in trail and adjacent cultural and natural landscapes protection, preservation and perpetuation of traditional uses and lifetyles.”
     Many public, private and community organizations are involved, “dedicated to cultural perpetuation, environmental conservation, agricultural self reliance and the provision of sustainable livelihood opportunities for the people of Kaʻū,” said Arakaki.
    The Ala Kahakai National Trail runs through Waikapuna. The land is known for the remains of a Hawaiian fishing village and many other cultural sites and wildlife.
     In addition to Legacy Land funding, money could also come, in part, from the “Two Percent” fund from county property tax revenues.
     Waikapuna is owned by Resource Land Holdings, of Colorado, which also owns the slope above Honuʻapo and Kaʻū Coffee farmer lands at Pear Tree and Moaʻula.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE IN THE 2016 ELECTION?  U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono – a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence – released a statement yesterday, expressing her support for an independent, bipartisan, Congressional inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 nationawide election and raised six questions for the review process.
     “The Intelligence Community’s assessment that Russia intended to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election is deeply disturbing,” said Hirono. “Last month I joined my colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee in writing a letter to urge President Obama to de-classify information about Russian interference. The American people deserve to know as much as possible about Russia’s attacks on our democratic institutions. This is something he can and should do quickly,” said Hirono.
Sen. Mazie Hirono suports inquiry into whether
Russia interfered with the U.S. Election.
Photo from Global Policy Solutions
    “President Obama recently asked the Intelligence Community to provide an assessment before he leaves office. This is an important and positive step. I also support an independent, bipartisan, Congressional inquiry into this matter. This review should focus on answering, among others, the following core questions:
    “To what extent were computer systems at U.S. national party committees compromised?
    “To what extent was information stolen from those computer systems disclosed?
    “Was information leaked from both political party organizations equally – and if not, why not?
    “Did staff members of the presidential campaigns have any contact with Russian officials or Wikileaks during the campaign?
    “To what degree are Russian president Vladimir Putin or other high-ranking officials personally involved in directing these Russian activities?
    “How do we prevent Russia from interfering in future U.S. elections?”
     Last month, Hirono sent a letter to Obama calling on him to declassify any and all intelligence pertaining to Russian interference in the 2016 election.
To read comments, add your own, and like this story, see facebook.com/kaucalendar.

COFFEE BERRY BORER, MACADAMIA FELTED COCCID, RAPHID 'ŌHIA DEATH and other pests, which pose major threats to Kaʻū agriculture and native forests, are the target of funding announced yesterday by U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. She said Hawaiʻi will receive $3.1 million to fight invasive species like coffee berry borer, Rapid 'Ōhia Death, the coconut rhinoceros beetle, and fruit flies. 
     The money, allocated from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, in accordance with Section 10007 of the 2014 Farm Bill, is part of 513 projects supported nationwide that aim to prevent the introduction or spread of plant pests and diseases that threaten U.S. agriculture and the environment, as well as ensure the availability of a healthy supply of clean plant stock.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (center) met with Kaʻū Coffee farmers
John Ah San, Gloria Camba, Efren Abellera and
Kiki Matsui at Kaʻū Coffee Mill in August. Photo by Julia Neal
     “In Hawaiʻi, invasive species like the coffee berry borer, fruit fly, and macadamia felted coccid have cost our farmers millions, and put hundreds of farms, thousands of local workers, and our agriculture industry at great risk,” said Gabbard. “We need to provide more support to our farmers who contribute so much to our community and our economy. This funding will provide Hawaiʻi with critical resources to combat these invasive pests.”
     Ray Carruthers, Specialist at the University of Hawaiʻi College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, said, “The University of Hawaiʻi is very pleased to hear that a new project has been funded through USDA-APHIS on the management of the coffee berry borer in Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico. The main thrust of this effect will be to coordinate control efforts with on-going Federal, State and local projects on CBB management, along with the additional development of new insect biological control technologies. We feel that developing, testing and the eventual use of insect parasitoids will be a key for long-term sustainable management of the CBB in both Hawaiʻi and Puerto Rico.” Puerto Rican coffee farmers face many of the same pests as Kaʻū Coffee farmers.


Gabbard introduced the Areawide Integrated Pest Management (AIPM) Act (H.R.3893) and the Macadamia Tree Health Initiative (H.R.6249) in the 114th Congress. In August, she conducted an agriculture tour on Hawaiʻi Island where she met with local agriculture professionals and researchers in Kaʻū and other districts to talk about about invasive species in Hawaiʻi.

The first high school sports team to use the new Kaʻū District Gym are
Wahine Trojans who play basketball. They marched last weekend
in the Pāhala Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT MAKING for adults is today, Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. at Kahuku County Park. Ages 18 and older. 929-9913.

MINI GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING for keiki, grades K-8,  is today, Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 1 p.m. at Pāhala Community Center. 928-3012.

FAMILY READING NIGHT is tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.. at Ocean View Community Center. 939-7033.

TOMORROW IS THE DEADLINE FOR THE DIRECTORY, to sign up for listings and advertising for businesses, community groups, churches and agencies. The annual business and community resource guide is sponsored by Kaʻū Chamber of Commerce and produced by The Kaʻū Calendar. It includes photography and art by Kaʻū residents, a calendar of events, listings and feature stories including winners of the recent Beauty of Kaʻū art show, sponsored by the Chamber. The Directory raises scholarship money for students from Kaʻū throughout their higher education in trades, college and university studies. Printed each January, 7,500 copies of The Directory are distributed throughout Kaʻū and Volcano. To sign up, contact geneveve.fyvie@gmail.com .

Pahala Filipino Community Association participates each year
in the Pahala Christmas Parade. Photo by Julia Neal
FRIEND-RAISER IS NĀʻĀLEHU ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’S Winter Fest theme for this Saturday. Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Make New Friends,” declares the poster, which also reports on opportunities to enjoy shave ice, drinks, hot dogs – all for $1. Games are 50 cents. Also featured is a bounce house, raffle, bake sale, splash booth, jail, face painting and information vendors. Winter Fest is sponsored by the Nāʻālehu School Council.

REP. RICHARD CREAGAN’S OCEAN VIEW FORUM will be held at Ocean View Community Center next Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Creagan represents District 5 in the Hawaiʻi House of Representatives and chairs the Committee on Agriculture. District 5 includes Honuʻapo to Nāʻālehu, to Ocean View, to Capt. Cook, Kealakekua and part of Kailua-Kona.

CHRISTMAS IN THE COUNTRY is ongoing through the holidays at Volcano Art Center in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Free; park entrance fees apply.

VOTE FOR THE BEST DECORATED Kilauea Military Camp cottage through the holidays.

See www.kaucalendar.com

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